Shrugs, and (other) other ways to injure your shoulder.
I do no like shrugs with a bar,
I do not like shrugs in a car!
No shrugs up close, no shrugs afar!
I do not like them here or there,
I do not like them ANYWHERE!
Shrugs hurt your shoulders, and your neck -
You'll come into my office, wrecked!
(That's the best poem about shrugs that I can come up with at this hour on a Monday...)
Shrugs are possibly the worst exercise of all time. At least, in my opinion.
Why, you ask? What do you have against magnificently formed upper trapezius muscles?
Nothing, I guess… except, did you read last week’s BLOG?!?! If you need more reasons to skip the shrugs, here are some:
1. Upper trapezius muscles are static postural muscles. They work ALL DAY LONG. Your goal in the gym should be to take stress off of them by strengthening complementary muscles instead (check out this article by Mike Rienold, former trainer for the Red Sox)
Also, check out this piece which talks a little more about upper crossed syndrome.
2. EMG studies show higher activity in your upper traps with prolonged sitting at the computer. So, in addition to being active all day, they work harder when you think you’re “resting” at your desk.
3. Stress? What’s that...? We live in a multi-tasking society where we are constantly over-booked, over-utilized, and rushing from one place to the other. I need no research to prove that stress lives in your upper trapezius muscles, but in case you do, here.
4. If you’re not doing your shoulder exercises properly (and most of you *are not*... I can see many of you from my office…. (-; ), you are activating your upper traps when you are trying to isolate other muscles.
The bottom line: know what you’re trying to achieve with an exercise, and make sure you’re achieving it. More importantly, understand why you are doing the exercise! That's my spiel for today. Some light reading for this Monday morning.
I'm done talking about shoulders... what shall we discuss next week? If I pick your topic, you'll win a cool reusable shopping back with Redpoint's logo on it!